A freshman has brought the international Rotary Club to Harding with the help of the dean of the Honors College.
Rotary is an international service club whose purpose is service about self. The club hosts fundraisers and service projects to support the community in which they are located. As an international organization, the Rotary symbol is a well-known icon with worldwide connection.
Freshman Grant Countess showed interest in starting a college chapter (Rotaract) of the international service club, Rotary.
“I think the neatest thing about it all, is that you are connected with people from across the world,” Countess said.
Countess was a part of the high school sector of Rotary — Interact — and served on the district board. Countess expressed interest in starting a Harding Rotaract Club when he saw Mike James, dean of the Honors College and secretary of Searcy Rotary Club, wearing a Rotary pin on his jacket.
“I told Grant that I would support him in any way that I can,” James said. “We have talked about it at our local club, but we didn’t know who would be interested or how to get it started.”
Countess said he has a core goal for the group: “service above self.”
“When you are living for something that is bigger than yourself, it is hard to have a bad day,” Countess said.
Randy McLeod, professor of business and former Searcy Rotary Club president, compared Rotary to an adult version of a social club. McLeod said that much like social clubs, Rotary has a purpose, and they work towards achieving their goals. James said the Rotaract Club would be their own entity and would be doing their own things to better the community.
McLeod said he encourages students to always get plugged into the community in which they live. He said students who are involved in service now will be more likely to be involved in service once they graduate.
“So many things in life you need to develop good habits, [whether] it’s giving or serving,” McLeod said. “It’s good to get them used to giving back and being involved in service of some sort.”
Harding Rotaract Club is still in the beginning stages of its development. They are currently seeking those who will be interested in being charter members of the club. Countess said they are trying to find 15 people who are interested in order to proceed with the formation of the club.